Analysis: EHR implementation averages $32,409 per physician

April 7, 2011

If your practice is on the small side and plans to implement an electronic health record (EHR) system soon, an analysis of 26 primary care practices?each ranging from two to 12 physicians?in the Dallas, Texas, area may provide some insights into the financial and nonfinancial costs you?ll incur.

If your practice is on the small side and plans to implement an electronic health record (EHR) system soon, an analysis of 26 primary care practices-each ranging from two to 12 physicians-in the Dallas, Texas, area may provide some insights into the financial and nonfinancial costs you’ll incur.

The practices studied made one-time infrastructure purchases of $25,000 each for switches, cables, and wireless Internet connections, found Neil S. Fleming, PhD, vice president for healthcare research at the Institute for Health Care Research and Improvement for the Baylor Health Care System, Dallas, Texas, and his fellow researchers. The per-physician cost for computers, printers, and scanners was $7,000. Additionally, annual costs to license software and pay for hosting, technical support and networking were about $14,700 to $17,100 per physician.

When converted to dollar equivalent, pre- and post-implementation time related to the launch of an EHR system was valued at $28,025 per practice for network implementation activities, $7,857 for practice implementation activities, and what amounted to $10,325 per physician for end user-related activities.

All told, the total per-physician cost involved in implementing an EHR system through 60 days after launch, based on a five-physician practice, averaged $32,409-or $46,659 if maintenance costs for a year after launch were included.